NORMAN -The Oklahoma State Cowboys are a better team with Markel Brown on the floor, but 39 minutes is more of a curse than blessing.
Foul trouble to Marcus Smart and Le'Bryan Nash forced OSU coach Travis Ford's hand in OSU's 88-76 loss to Oklahoma.
Yeah (Brown) got a little fatigued late," Ford said. "Playing 39 minutes in that game is tough. Markel for us, he plays so many different positions, and I think his head was probably spinning a little bit."
Brown's only break came during stoppages of play and when he was subbed out briefly before media timeouts, only to be reinstated on the other side of the break.
The Cowboys found themselves in a hole early, but the play of Brown and Phil Forte keep OSU close.
"Those two really did a good job of keeping it within striking distance," OU coach Lon Kruger said. "With (OSU) in foul trouble, we would have liked to widen the margin, but we couldn't and they made the plays they needed to."
Brown scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but his most impressive stats were among his lowest. Despite playing nearly the entire game, and spending many minutes as the primary ball handler, Brown committed only two turnovers and two fouls.
Playing extended minutes is nothing new for Markel Brown. Playing 39 minutes ranks only third in Brown's career. He has played 40 or minutes four times as a Cowboy, including a career-high 45 against Kansas last season.
"I gave all I could out there," Brown said. "I'm a senior on this team, I've been here before.
"I'm tired after that one."
There are a few reasons OSU finds itself in foul trouble nearly every game. New rules play a part, but players such as Nash and Kamari Murphy are playing and still leaning new positions.
"I don't want to make excuses, but yeah (it's a problem)," Ford said. "It's a major issue. We can't keep getting in foul trouble, we know that. It's tough to go to our bench, especially in this game."
The Cowboys know this pattern of foul trouble cannot continue if they want to reach their goal of playing in the Final Four in Cowboys Stadium come April.
"Gotta regroup for next week," Brown said. "We got Baylor at home (on Saturday), so every night is going to be a tough game. We have to bounce back."